Medical Insurance for Euro Travel

Old Mar 13th, 2011, 06:43 AM
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Medical Insurance for Euro Travel

Can someone recommend coverage for travel beyond the 4 month option with airlines? We are US citizens and hope to stay there longer than 90 days. We are going to get a long-term visa for our stay.
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Old Mar 13th, 2011, 07:00 AM
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I'm not familiar with "the 4 month option with the airlines" - never heard of it in fact.

First thing I would do would be to check with my current medical insurance company and be clear on what they do/do-not cover.
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Old Mar 13th, 2011, 07:41 AM
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And be advised that you are limited to 90 days in Schengen countries without getting a visa...
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Old Mar 13th, 2011, 07:49 AM
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OP has already stated they are getting a long term visa ParisAmsterdam.

Check what your own health insurance offers by way of coverage, if anything. otherwise look online at somewhere like insuremytrip and see if it is possible to take out a longer than the normal insurance though them.
Most insurances are limited to 90 days - the maximum length of a normal non-visa visit.
Airlines do not offer health insurance that I am aware of.
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Old Mar 13th, 2011, 10:59 AM
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Just look at the terms on various policies, I know I've seen some that you could buy for longer terms on insuremytrip.com In fact, I think you can put that into the search box to limit the selectioh you get (your trip dates). I know they have some on there longer than 90 days.

I have no idea what the airline policy reference is but I also have never seen them sell health insurance. But maybe some do, although it would just be a regular policy you could buy on your own, I'm sure, you'd have to compare prices to see if they gave you a discount by buying through them. Airlines certainly don't run health insurance companies. They'd have to tell you the name of the company they are selling you a policy through.
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Old Mar 13th, 2011, 11:16 AM
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Hmmm. I also don't know about the 4 month insurance thing. We just use our regular health insurance. This requires us to pay for procedures/medicines and then get reimbursed once we get home. So far it has worked well for us.

The one big time was a hospitalization in Paris. The hospital put a hold of about 3000 euro on our credit card in anticipation of charges. However, it turned out that all in, the hospitalization, medicines, tests, etc came in at only a few hundred euro. We did contact our health insurance immediately from Paris and we were reimbursed, at our usual insurance benefits, in about a month as I recall.
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Old Mar 13th, 2011, 11:26 AM
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This is why my insurance is Blue Cross/Blue Shield-- medical coverage overseas. I also use Access America-- these guys have never let me down and unfortunately, I have needed them more than once....
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Old Mar 13th, 2011, 11:44 AM
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For our June trip I have trip insurance through Access America (Continental Airlines) and they only have Emergency Medical and Dental and Emergency Medical Transportation and just for the duration of the booked trip.

Gonna miss Blue Cross Blue Shield for that overseas coverage when I turn 65 next month. But my Medicare Advantage plan does have worldwide coverage for Urgent Needed Care with a $20 copay so maybe I'll be okay.
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Old Mar 13th, 2011, 11:51 AM
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I have never bought (Access America) insurance from the airlines. I always get standalone travel insurance.
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Old Mar 13th, 2011, 05:47 PM
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Does the visa issued by the French Gov't require proof of medical insurance? That may affect your choices. Otherwise, check to see if you will be reimbursed for medical costs by your existing insurance. Our does, with the standard co-pay.
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Old Mar 19th, 2011, 01:09 PM
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Thank you very much for all you replies. Sorry... it is Access America. I found it when Ipurchased an airline ticket. It is very affordable and is good for a maximum of 4 months. We will both be 65 on our next trip. We currently have coverage but when Dick finally retires in November we will need a policy for here and overseas. Our first trip may be longer than 4 months and so we are now looking at how to handle:
1. long term visa (anyone have insight on that?
2. purchasing a car for use and staying in France
3. Anyone know rules for using US driver liscense in France?
Again thank you. I'm very impressed with the responses using Fodor's.
I'll pose the above as a question.
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Old Mar 19th, 2011, 01:18 PM
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Carol you need to contact the French Embassy or Consulate for information regrading a visa, and any health insurance requirements they impose.

I am not sure you can buy a car in France as you won't be residents of France. Consider leasing one - Peugeot and some other companies have leasing deals.
Your US drivers licence is fine provided you are not planning on settling permanently or staying longer than (I think) a year. If you are staying that long you need to sort out French licences.
No doubt Kerouac, amongst others, could help more with this part. Maybe you should post a new question so he sees it?
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Old Mar 19th, 2011, 01:25 PM
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After 90 days of being a tourist I believe the US driver's licenses are not valid LEGALLY.
You will need to rent a car as it is almost impossible to get insured with an American driver's license and your own car. Rental /leasing companies do not seem to have a problem with that even after the 90 days from my friends' experiences..
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Old Mar 19th, 2011, 01:25 PM
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Besides insuremytrip you might look at Seven Corners. I've been using a policy from them for medical evacuation coverage for a long trip, but I think they also offer regular medical insurance. However, a Medicare Advantage policy may be the best way to go. I'll be interested in what you find out, as I'll have to switch to Medicare in a couple of years. Currently my regular insurance covers me for emergencies abroad, and I carry the evacuation insurance in case of serious accident (has happened...)
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Old Mar 19th, 2011, 01:28 PM
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oops.. sorry. France has some reciprocity with US licenses. See if YOUR state is part of that program. If YOUR state accepts French licenses, then you will not have any problem turning your US license in for a French one after the 90 days and when you are a resident.

All these answers should be on the French Embassy pages.
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Old Mar 19th, 2011, 01:47 PM
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As hetismij says contact the French consulate nearest you to get information on residence visas, car registration, driver's license, and insurance. In addition to Peugeot, Renault also offers long term leases, including insurance, for non-residents. For an illustrated introduction to driving in Europe see http://tinyurl.com/3bc2ax.

I have never bought medical insurance when I travel but I probably will the next time. I have had some close calls. I bought med evac insurance for my daughter when she went to France and Italy last summer. I bought it through American Express. I think it was about $25. That's very cheap for peace of mind. A friend had an accident in Turin and found the hospital conditions unbearable. Fortunately she had med evac insurance and was able to get home for proper care.
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Old Mar 19th, 2011, 01:51 PM
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I would advise starting the visa process as soon as possible. It will be through the French consulate closest to your US residence. What will be required may depend in part on whether you just wish to extend travel beyond 90 days or whether you are seeking residency, or at the time you apply, the requirements may be identical.

It is 99.9% likely that you will have to show evidence of health insurance in place and documentation of financial ability to support yourself. You may have to pay to have documents translated into French. The consulate will advise on drivers' licenses but I believe French drivers' licenses are not issued to non-residents.

I'm just giving you some probable requirements. The consulate is the only accurate source of information. Hope it works out for you. It should if you stay on top of the process.
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Old Mar 19th, 2011, 02:22 PM
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Should have added, you may not be able to apply yet, depending on when you plan to leave the US, but start getting info together as soon as you can.
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Old Mar 19th, 2011, 03:00 PM
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Our family spent 14 months in Europe on a sabbatical trip a few years ago. We carried expatriate insurance through IMG. Of their current offerings, this plan is basically what we had: http://www.imglobal.com/img-insuranc...insurance.aspx We were able to buy it for the exact number of months we needed.

You'll need proof of insurance for your French carte de sejour.

Kathy
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